May 19, 2020

Freed Up To Love

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 19, 2020

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV

I once heard a Christian teacher share that people are like pipes; pipes that God’s love and power flow through. Love flows through us when we are speaking, and when we are serving. It flows through us when we are at our workplace, at home behind closed doors, on the street, in the grocery store, and while we’re texting and posting–and just being. 

Every single person is a love pipe. All the time. Every moment. Everywhere. 

But there is an attitude that can keep God’s love and power from flowing through us. It can clog up our “pipeline.” And when this happens, we will not experience the abundant life God promises. 

This attitude is unforgiveness. 

Every person alive has been hurt in some way. If you are alive long enough, someone will hurt you. Someone will betray you. Someone will let you down. You can’t stop injustices from happening, but you can stop them from affecting you and others around you. 

By choosing not to participate in unforgiveness, you will keep love flowing through you to others. 

Forgiveness isn’t something that Jesus tells us to do but didn’t do himself. While on the cross, in the midst of His pain, He modeled what it meant to forgive. He showed that we are to forgive our friends and our enemies too. And, he showed that forgiveness is a choice. It’s not something you only do when you feel good or happy and you’re at peace with what has been done to you. Forgiveness is not optional for the Christian who wants love to flow through them to others. 

Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, I can be unforgiving with one person and it’s not going to affect my other relationships.” When we choose to hold onto unforgiveness, it affects our total person. It can even turn into bitterness which poisons our interactions, expectations, and responses with those around us. 

It’s pretty obvious that when this happens we are not being controlled by God, which means that the fruit of the Holy Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and goodness, are not being produced in our lives.

I can’t think of one believer in Christ who would say that they don’t want to live an empowered life. One way that we can unleash God’s power in our lives is to let go of unforgiveness to allow love to flow through us. 

Forgiving doesn’t mean you approve of what others have done to you. Jesus didn’t approve of the injustices done to Him although He knew it was the road He had to walk. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget what happened. It means you let the other person off the hook and let God take care of the situation. As my friend says, “You take them off your hook and you put them on God’s.” Then, you choose love. 

Forgiveness is liberating. Love is empowering. 

“Forgive us our debts, as we have also forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).

Prayer

Lord, please help me to follow your example of forgiving those who are unkind, unfair, or do me wrong. You would never ask me to do anything that isn’t possible or isn’t good. I choose forgiveness and love. Amen.


Application

Spend some time in prayer and ask the Lord to show you anyone you are holding a grudge against. List their names on a piece of paper. Name the offenses that have hurt you. Then say that you forgive them for each one out loud. Next, pray for those who have done you wrong.


Related Reading

Proverbs 17:9; Luke 6:37; Psalm 86:5

Here is a helpful resource during these days of grief, sorrow and uncertainty: A Little Book of Comfort


Post/Tweet today

Forgiveness frees you up to love with reckless abandonment. #WisdomHunters #love #truth #Jesus


Worship Resource

7 minute video – Kierra Sheard: 


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